Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister and the Governor of the Bank of England sat up all night, we are told, devising a plan to save the British banking system. The Japanese stock market was having another very bad day even as they talked. And our own has started distinctly badly this morning, despite their best efforts. “Gentlemen in England now a-bed, shall think themselves quite lucky they are not here, because it’s going to be extremely scary.” – from the current Economist. Trouble is, there’s nowhere else to go. Stop the world, I want to get off.

My husband (seriously) thinks it might be a good idea to get some pound notes out of the bank – if they’re still handing them out, this morning – and stash them under the bed. I think it might be better to get plenty of ammo in, so that we can go to Strathardle and burn wood to keep warm and shoot sheep for food. Both plans equally useless, I suspect.

The Presidential election seems a side-issue by now. I heard some of the debate, not the parts about finance, and again, thought it banal.

More cheerful topics, including knitting

Mary Lou, you’ll have a grand time with “Put Out More Flags”. It’s Waugh’s happiest book. It was published in 1942, before El Alamein. It may well have been written even before Pearl Harbor. Those were dark days. It’s a profoundly patriotic book, but it still contains various elements which make me feel that it is vastly to the credit of the wartime censors that they let it through.

Cynthia, Gilbert and Sullivan was an Important Early Influence for me. My father had several of the operas in huge heavy albums of 12” breakable gramophone records, D’Oyly Carte recordings that must have been made in the 30’s. I wonder what happened to them?

And as for knitting, I’ve finished the slow movement at the beginning of Princess Centre Repeat No. 8.


  1. you did not miss much in the debate,McCain did call Obama "that one" and talked to a Af/Am Voter as if he were a child. Unless something profound happens I think Mc Cain has lost. I hope I am right.

  2. So, Jean, is it because you have lived through bank crises before that you see this one in terms of basic survival? Is it because you rely on returns on investments for your income? I am genuinely intrigued, because you describe the future in such stark terms. I proposed a version of your husband's plan to a friend, more politically savvy than I, and she explained that stored money would be devalued anyway, even if you had it under the bed.

  3. It was this piece on National Public Radio that had me put Waugh's book on the short list:

  4. Anonymous2:23 AM

    Stored money was the thing to have when the very first Bank Holiday was declared, precisely to stop runs on the banks. People ran out of change, ran out of bills, used scrip and barter for daily transactions. They needed a medium of exchange.

    I believe some people are stashing cash now, but it may or may not be helpful this time around. So much is done online and with credit cards, one could almost do without cash, as long as the bank keeps passing the transactions along.